Tennis: Carlos Alcaraz wins the US Open and becomes the world number one

Tennis: Carlos Alcaraz wins the US Open and becomes the world number one

Carlos Alcaraz lifts the US Open Cup after defeating Casper Ruud, in the final, on September 11, 2022, in New York.

This story, no one wrote it. At least not so fast. If his exponential trajectory left few doubts about his ability to rule in the near future, few would have imagined him, two weeks ago, with the head of the new Tennis Planet Master on his back at the end of New York. Meeting. He himself did not know that it was impossible, so he did it.

On Sunday 11 September, Carlos Alcaraz definitively proved that “premature” was alien to him by defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud in the US Open final (6-4, 2-6, 7-6). [7-1]And the 6-3). The first Grand Slam title for a career expected to be as omnivorous as his carnivorous smile. At 19 years and four months old, he became, as a bonus, the youngest world No. 1 in history, displacing Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who was crowned at 20 years and eight months (in 2001).

The scenario was unprecedented: there was never a Grand Slam final between two players against each other in a position to open their Grand Slam record and sit on the world throne in the process. For both the 23-year-old Spaniard and the Norwegian, the weight of history was heavy on their shoulders as they entered Arthur Ashe’s rooftop court. Carraz legs too.

After winning the first set, goalkeeper Juan Carlos Ferrero suddenly became less accurate, and his strength remained in the locker room. On the other side of the net, Casper Ruud put his plan into action: catch his opponent as much as possible, playing with depth and rigor. In the third set, the youngest was often on a wire, revealing his frustration as his opponent was only phlegm. Chances are that the Norwegian’s game will never excite the crowd, even if he often has the last word on his brightest points.

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Alcaraz regained his enthusiasm in the third set tiebreak, and he won’t stray away from it. “This was not the time to get tired, when you get to the end of the tournament you have to leave everything you left on the field”, Winner’s reaction, again 141e At the beginning of 2021, in front of 23,000 spectators they have long won.

heady tomorrow

Not so long ago, some did not give much from the world of tomorrow, promising an era threatened by boredom, when the three heroes of the beginning of the twenty-first century weree The century will go away. Under Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the sport of tennis would be nothing more than a cliched and cliched spectacle. The presenters of the lessons have buried in disappointment a sport that is no longer supposed to fit the standards of modernity, and err on top of all endless matches.

Ironically, this edition of the US Open will have made pledges on both counts. The New York week will prove that we can still fill stadiums until the end of the night, even after countless matches in five sets, without spectators approaching an overdose. Just as the first roles played by a new, talented generation, led by an unrestrained younger, portend an intoxicating tomorrow. Tennis is good, thanks to him.

Tennis can especially thank Carlos Alcaraz. And the Spaniard had already presented, on Wednesday evening to Thursday, the most beautiful match in the two weeks, along with Italian Yannick Sener (13).e world), barely older than him (21 years). A quarter-final won by the Spaniard the last time he scored at the US Open (2:50 am), after the second longest match in the tournament’s history. At 5:15 a.m., the two hit the ball with full force, distributing strikes, or rather attacks, with the speed at which they were fierce. The duel aroused admiration and bore the seeds of a rivalry that could be settled in the long run.

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Teen face, old warrior nerves

Carlos Alcaraz fast, in the US Open final, September 11, 2022, in New York.

Against Marin Cilic already in eighth place, Alcaraz canceled five sets. The child from El Palmar (Murcia province) still has the face of a teenager but the nerves of a veteran and fire in his arms. After his three consecutive fights ended at 1:28 p.m., he was “A little tired, of course, but just so happy.” “I think back to the kid I was ten years ago who was dreaming about my moment. You have to follow your dreams. Hard work is always rewarded.” The Spaniard added after his semi-final victory over American championship revelation Francis Tiafoe, 24, who beat Nadal in the eighth.

The child learns very quickly and very quickly. A year ago, 55 moree At the dawn of playing his first US Open, the youngster with slender arms had to throw in the towel in the quarterfinals after a series of marathon matches. “Last year, I played only three major tournaments before the US Open, and only one match in five sets, Justified on the eve of the final. Today, I am more prepared both physically and mentally. Since the US Open, there has been twelve months of intense work, both at home and on the court. But I would say the key is mostly my brain. »

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Former world number one Justine Henin She said she was amazed by this spinning ascent. “In the tournaments that preceded Roland Garros, he took us to another planet with his extraordinary sequences [demi-finale à Indian Wells, titres à Miami, Barcelone et Madrid]And the We didn’t know where it would stop,” The Belgian said Globalism this week. The Spaniard was finally stopped at Roland-Garros (defeat in the quarter-finals) when everyone was already fantasizing about his departure with the Knights Trophy under his arm. “It’s normal, he still has things to learn. But I wasn’t worried about what would happen…” Heinen continued.

chameleon game

Early 2020, “Carlitos” He was still playing in the secondary circuit. He was 16 years old, Nadal’s posters hung on the walls of his room, indicating 490e ATP rank. Unlike Majorcan, who crushed the competition from an early age, Alcaraz took longer for his talent to mature. However, the frail teenager had a much more complete art palette than his larger palette of the same age, but with so many choices in his racket, he didn’t always know how to pick the right racket at the right time.

Since then, the chameleon of this game has been able to adapt his tennis to any kind of opponent, rocking the times he passes by, often marrying his idol. Since the start of the season, he has racked up 50 wins and five titles. In New York, for two weeks, his tennis with racquetball often caught the public’s attention through hot dogs or his neighbors: an explosive, forward-facing hit from the baseline, climbing into the net and being extinguished as a lethal weapon.

Read also: US Open: Three men for the world throne

Not so long ago, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the German Alexander Zverev or the Russian Andrey Rublev were announced as the heirs of the Holy Trinity Federer Nadal Djokovic. Everyone has failed so far to win the cup. Carlos Alcaraz has just been questioned for their kindness. Or rather, to use the words of Zverev, who was swept away by the Spaniard in Madrid in May, who are “kick ass”.

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